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Poster: William Tell Date: Oct 11, 2007 6:49pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: William Tell's Birthday Show!

First off, apologies: I am co-opting Rob's time zone to post this post now since it is the 12th in his neck of the woods, and because seeing as how it is my birthday tomorrow, I will be busy...Besides, CLIFF or GoP will beat me to it if I wait til tomorrow, so better get this premptive post in now while I can.

Apologies to to those of you sick and tired of my singing the praises of 10-12-68. Just skip this NOW as it is more of the same...

For those of you willing to take the plunge, if you haven't ever (shocking! shameful!), listen to it once today...maybe twice. It is short and sweet: just under 80 min.

Here it is:

Additional information and reviews, selected from those here at LMA, provided below. The fact that Bob is present, though Pig is absent, lends support to the notion that Bob really did add something (no time for defending Pig here and now...GoP can do that, and has done so, admirably in the past). But, for the ongoing development of the two suites (DS-->StSt-->11-->DDhnM & CE-->OO-->CE--NPC), culminating in the Live Dead production, this show is critical...building on the efforts of August, when we first see the suites in their fullblown glory, this show is great from start to finish...showing us the upbeat, 4 min StSt, and the dynamic interplay between Jerry and the others during the OOne (made better, I think, by the addition of TC over Pig, but debated by some).

Enjoy, all. And, thanks to one and all for getting things up and running as this forum should the past 24 hrs...good deal.

Collection: GratefulDead
Band/Artist: Grateful Dead
Date: October 12, 1968 (check for other copies)
Venue: Avalon Ballroom
Location: San Francisco, CA

Source: Soundboard
Lineage: SBD > MR > DAT > Sonic Solutions > EAC > CoolEdit > CD
Transferred by: David Gans and Frisco
Keywords: Live concert

Dark Star > St Stephen > The Eleven > Death Don't Have No Mercy Cryptical Envelopment > Drums > Other One > Cryptical Envelopment > New Potato Caboose > Jam > Drums > Jam > Feedback

Downloaded 24,978 times Average Rating: FIVE STARS

Reviewer: JamminJerome - - May 1, 2007
Subject: WOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

If you listen to this show and do not enjoy it, then you are probably deaf. Or you listen to entirely too much Kelly Clarkson. Because this show is HOT! I usually put a list of highlights, but that is impossible for this show. EVERY song is a highlight!!! top 10 for 68, top 20 ALL TIME for me (if not top 10)!

Reviewer: philphanatic - - July 30, 2006
Subject: nice showq

i searched for all the fillmore shows from the 60's and this is hte oldest soundboard i could find, and i listened to it because it happens to be my birthday (but 17 years earlier)....,my unbiased opinion, is dark star was sensational as were all the jams and feedback to end it all. definitely worth a listen. five stars nto because the sound quality is goood for a sixties show and no matter what i think the dead as a band sounded awesome. yay!

Reviewer: 23 - - July 11, 2006
Subject: Best memories

When I was in high school (mid eighties) this was the tape that me and my friends put in the boom box, and walked the streets of Boston (at 3:00 am)and let the music take control. There is no finer Darkstar, period. This show was broadcast live via San Francisco radio, and in the version I had, the DJ opened with "hello San Francisco," I still get that undescribable feeling whenever I hear it.
Thanks Jerry

Reviewer: capn doubledose - - June 23, 2006
Subject: metallic taste

close your eyes and watch the eyelid movies to this one. irresistable.

Reviewer: sammyguy420 - - June 9, 2006
Subject: yummy

I have loved this show for years. I used to have it on DAT. About 10 years ago, they lost my luggage on the way to Jamaica and my possesions consisted of just my carry-on's. This show was one of them. I listened for a week to these increadable licks. It changed me.

Reviewer: grateful red - - May 6, 2006
Subject: epic and primal!

This was the first Dark Star I ever heard, even before Live Dead, so it's the reference I used when I first started trading tapes. Funny, I loved it when I was 14, but I took it for granted. Listening to it now, 20 years later, it's jaw-droppingly good. Download this. One of my personal top 20 shows for sure!

Reviewer: eman039 - - May 3, 2006
Subject: oh shit

im a young dead listener but the only words i can use to describe the dead are consistent, evolution, and perfection. What a great early reach back to touch on some of the roots of this legendary American rock and roll band. One of the best dark stars these ears have heard but im up for suggestions. AMAZING ENERGY ON THIS SHOW.

Reviewer: caeserdog - - January 3, 2006
Subject: good eleven

I am in search of the perfect Eleven and so far have not come across a better one than the 08-68 show on Two from the Vault...this one is pretty damn good but not as good as that one.

Other than that Dark Star is unreal (for the nth time), this is a great show.

Reviewer: hitmeister - - October 28, 2005
Subject: Pretty much essential

Whoever said the Grateful Dead were a mellow band certainly wasn't listening to this show! These guys are just on fire. "The Other One" is especially sizzling and ballsy. It doesn't get a whole lot better.

The only downside of this one is the shakers sound on Dark Star, which is mixed too loud for my taste, and which persists throughout the entire song in a way that becomes somewhat distracting.

Reviewer: williscat2000 - - October 23, 2005
Subject: possibly the best of 1968

great show, great playing, great sound quality. along with 2/14/68, one of the best of this killer year. Definitely 5 stars

Reviewer: hyperboy - - September 29, 2005
Subject: Oh yeah!!!

This show is SMOKIN'!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From beginning to end, this show is HOT! The boys are on and the crowd is into it. Damn, I'm really deep into 1968 right now! This show sounds so f-ing amazing for 1968! Thank you archives.

Reviewer: eyezoftheworld - - August 26, 2005
Subject: DARK STAR

this dark star is killer... NOT TO MENTION THE STEPHEN ELEVEN.. cmon, if you cant hear how killer this show is.. even though the keys are hard to hear... you need to turn off the television

Reviewer: flat7 - - August 16, 2005
Subject: Epic Early Dark Star

This would be a definitive Dark Star for Garcia's work in the first five minutes alone. Beautifully uptempo, Jerry floats with dynamic mastery over some fine Weir rhythm guitar and a stellar Lesh foundation. Really good percussion here as well; the cool wish-wash effect was mentioned below, I believe. The absence of a keyboard presence gives Jerry a bit more space, in my opinion. It also gives keyboardists a chance to improvise over this tune, something I have taken the liberty to do a few times. While not as spacey or exploratory as later versions, people (particularly guitarists and other musicians, though it is not limited to them) will be attracted to Garcia's unique stream of musical thought, which really shines through on this particular show. The quick pace forces him to be more melodic, as he can no longer rely on a triplet run to serve as a buffer between ideas. Remarkable stuff.

Reviewer: birdsgosouth - - June 28, 2005
Subject: .....

Absolutely positively fricking stunning. If there was ever a justified five star review in the archive, this is it.

The Hendrix story someone mentioned in the earlier reviews is so awesome, any more on that story out there?? Wow. Thinking that this show is going on while Hendrix is waiting in the wings for a stage call that ain't coming.



Reviewer: skwimite - - June 27, 2005
Subject: Whew!

I've had bits and pieces of this damn show for years, with no dates, and now finally have it all together. Never had the Drums > Jam > Feeback portion. Thanks. What's even more amazing than this show, is the fact that Weir and Pigpen were almost out of the band at this point. Hard to imagine. Nothing more I can add. Get this gem right away. Hail and farewell Mr. Helms!

Reviewer: phleshy - - May 29, 2005
Subject: Review revision 5/29/05

This show is just one of those that never gets old on you, no matter how many times you listen to it. The 15-minute Dark Star is possibly the finest circulating pre-Live Dead version, and though it lacks the adventurism of later versions, it nevertheless establishes a trippy musical landscape that always characterizes the best of Dead jams, segueing into an early St. Stephen.

Of course, the That's It suite is a beast, but of special mention here is The Eleven, which is the best version ever, bar none. The band, particularly Jerry, is so tight and intense that they might as well have been driving over a cliff when they played it. Every nook and cranny of this Eleven is flawless, and it hasn't been matched before or since. The only other Eleven (this is IMO, of course) that comes close is the fragmentary 2/2/69 version.

In Potato, the singing is lackluster as usual, but as soon as Phil's bass solo and the 13/8 jam starts, you will forgive the vocal shortcomings so fast you won't even remember that they sang. The jamming around the bass solo is just so gorgeous. Then out of nowhere comes a drums>jam>feedback segment. The Jam has strong Caution and Alligator teases, but is never really based upon a single theme; the Dead have to come up with one one their own and that's what they do best; with the exception of the following night, this transition was never made again. Why? It was a spur of the moment thing, something that characterizes the best Dead jams.

Now as for sound quality, this is the best damn sounding live recording I have ever heard of a Dead show and I have been collecting tapes for 10 years. Hyperbole, you wonder? It's not. I have SBDs from the (ill-fated) year of '95 that don't sound as good as this one. Along with Greek Theatre 10/20/68, the sound on these two shows is so good that I have wondered if they were secretly recorded by their label for a possible live release. They would have made a classic live album, no doubt. This is one of the best-ever Dead shows, and the finest of '68 (apologies to 6/14). This gets five stars easy.

Reviewer: gemsing777 - - April 21, 2005
Subject: What soothsayer techy genius was recording these shows?

Listen to the cymbals on Potato Cabby. They sound like they're in your living room with good speakers. Amazing. Thank you everying who contributes and maintains this site.

Reviewer: gonzoc - - April 9, 2005
Subject: 20 years and counting....

Had this tape for 20 years and counting. Even though it was much hissier and higher-gen than this source, I kept going back to it. If you like the energy and jamming of 68, then look no further.

Reviewer: grease - - March 28, 2005
Subject: WOW!

This show is freakin amasing. The best of the best. It will have your mind and soul screamin down a rollercoaster from star to finish. Download it now. Dont be afraid to blow yer speakers with this one. God knows i did. WOW!

Reviewer: MorninDew - - March 26, 2005
Subject: This nest number's lady's choice...

Primal dead, man! How can you go wrong with that? Dark Star is FANTASTIC! it wasn't yet as powerful as it would be in feb-march 69, but it was getting there. Jerry does some interesting vocal stuff during Death Don't. The Eleven and St. Stephen JUST SMOKE! Damn, man, they were on FIRE! A very nice Other One Suite. And a (actually) decent version of New potato caboose! Good job boys!
Great quality and great set. What are you waiting for? Download this monster!

Reviewer: Zensea - - March 16, 2005
Subject: Yes!

My tape collection is a bit jumbled up and disorganized so I couldn't check the date, but the date sounded familiar so I started the stream. All I had to hear was Weir saying "this is a foxtrot" regarding Dark Star and I downloaded this beauty because I Knew it contained an incredible St. Stephen >Eleven and that Garcia tears up his vocal cords on one of my all time favorite Death Don't Have No Mercys with these incredibly haunting leads. This show has always been one of my favorites since I heard it 15 years ago, even if I have trouble remembering dates. I'd give it six stars if I could.

Reviewer: MushroomEagle - - January 15, 2005
Subject: s-o-l-i-d.

Wow. I just happened upon this show yesterday and spent my entire evening replaying it over and over. It is the most solid dead show from start finish that i've yet downloaded. I think the sound quality is warm and beautifully fuzzy. The Dark Star is more than decent! It is a great Dark Star...and the earlier St. Stephen is especially tonic - just one clearly more beautiufl note after the other into the Eleven. One of my favorite Eleven's yet. Death Don't Have No Mercy makes it obvious that Jerry was no southern blues singer :) BUT beyond that his blues guitar is right on the money - like something you would hear out of Duane Allman. Great stuff and the rest of the cd is especially chill..just a great ending of the show that forces you to start it over again. But again i must say this Dark Star is exceptional. Listen to the guiros lol - and i hear a couple playin' in the band teases. Five star recording and show.

Reviewer: rodzu - - December 20, 2004
Subject: Great show !

Fantastic Dark Star opens this recording, and it only gets better from there. I'm really enjoying exploring these earlier shows -- very different energy than the mid-late seventies.

Reviewer: OuttaTime - - October 31, 2004
Subject: Groovy Early Dead, Tops for '68

This certainly isn't the cleanest show as far as perfect renditions of every song played, but the energy the band displays will make you forget they miss a change or two. Decent "Dark Star", nothing to write home about but nice nonetheless. "St. Stephen" is played at the perfect pace, and "The Eleven" cooks like I haven't heard before. Jerry really goes after it on "Death Don't Have No Mercy," you rarely get vocals like this anywhere else. Nice "That's It For The Other One" with early Phil singing along during the chorus, probably my favorite version - like others have said, it hits hard. The jam that finishes the show brings to a close what must have been a fun night. Great sound quality on this one, especially for '68 - definitely my favorite single-disc show. Get it now.

Reviewer: TimePilot - - October 12, 2004
Subject: Top 68 I've heard

I agree, it's definitely the best 68 show I've heard to date. The Jam after drums is enough to download this one. I usually stream shows and listen until one strikes me and then I'll download and burn. Let me tell you, I WILL be burning this one...5 stars.

Reviewer: sheikyerbouti - - October 2, 2004
Subject: If you are ready to cry uncle...

I have been mining this seam pretty hard for some unbelievably incredible music and powerful vibes and this show takes the cake. Of their entire career I am not sure I have heard more powerful balls to the wall, eye poppin, jammin... not sure what was in the air that night but if there was one show to take to the afterlife this is it.... It is virtually impossible to not tap into the grand coulee dam worth of energy that is released in slow dissolving little needles with Billy punching and driving from behind....You can taste the sounds and hear the smells of this.... This is an awesome show and great quality @>@

Reviewer: summerski - - August 18, 2004
Subject: Dark Star -Missing Banter

Wow this is my favorite all time Dark Star. However, this version is missing some pretty funny banter. On my old tape, the crowd is getting a bit wild and you can hear Jerry telling everone to "cool it" "We're gonna play here till we drop". This version rips despite the missing banter. Thanks

Reviewer: Susep - - June 30, 2004
Subject: folklore

I read where on this night Jimi Hendrix was playing shows at nearby Winterland and asked Chet Helms or someone in the Dead camp if they could set up a jam so Hendrix could jam with the Dead. The previous night the Dead arranged for a ferry boat so they could jam all night. Hendrix never showed up, later explaining that he had met a woman, dropped acid and fucked all night. So on this night, Hendrix showed up at the Avalon looking for another chance to play with the Dead. Ungrateful of Jimi's previous nights mischevious no show, the Dead granted Jimi a stage jam but never motioned him to come on, essentially playing through their set without welcoming Jimi onstage to jam. I'm sure his presence backstage lit up the Dead in more ways then one.

Reviewer: UrsaMajor - - June 29, 2004
Subject: Dark Star

This was one of my first tapes (back when that's all we had to trade), mislabeled as 10-31-68. The clarity is wonderful and the performance is a panic. I was taken by the clarity of the 'scratching', probably on a wood block (sorry I am not a musician) - it is trance-inducing during Jerry's lyrics. I don't remember anything close to that on my cassette - Gotta love the Digital Age!

Thank You for putting this up!!!

Reviewer: lpenoza - - June 28, 2004
Subject: THE Other One

This is the one I have been waiting for. I got a snippet of this Cryptical->Other One->Cryptical years ago from a GDead Hour Broadcast, and all I knew was that it was Avalon '68. This is it! The most mind-bending, psychedelic music ever made. The audience makes stunned groans inbetween furious volleys of lightning. I'd bet God was paying attention. The Eleven smokes as well. Now this amazing music is here in crystal clean sound, revealing all of the blazing glory within.

Reviewer: musicinmysoul - - June 25, 2004

This show is a must have for the "Other One" suite. It is RAW, fluid, HEAVY, TRIBAL- some of the most powerfully transformative music EVER played on planet Earth!!!!!
Seriously this one is so intensely focused that it is literally dizzying to listen to this. Listen to this one LOUD and involuntary headbanging will have your neck stiff in the morning.
HOLY SHIT!!!!!!!!!!

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Oct 12, 2007 11:03am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: William Tell's Birthday Show!

Happy Birthday Bow Man!

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Poster: William Tell Date: Oct 12, 2007 2:43pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: William Tell's Birthday Show!

Thanks one and all...but especially to you, CLIFF. My sons, two at least, really like QMS...that post was a great entry to a host of shows/songs I had no idea existed.

Thanks, man. Thanks.

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Oct 12, 2007 11:17am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: William Tell's Birthday Show!

very cool - thanks for posting that.

And a belated Happy B-day - really enjoyed your show today.

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Oct 11, 2007 7:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: William Tell's Birthday Show!

Its five o'clock somewhere philosophy has always worked well for me!!

Happy Birthday, hope its as great as this show.

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Poster: mcgannahan Date: Oct 11, 2007 8:18pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: William Tell's Birthday Show!

i'll raise my mug of green tea to you, happy birthday will.

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Poster: BryanE Date: Oct 12, 2007 9:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: William Tell's Birthday Show!

You're a good man, Billy T, one of this group's finest. Many happy returns!

Take a look at Deadhook if you haven't already.

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Poster: high flow Date: Oct 12, 2007 10:19am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: William Tell's Birthday Show!

Hello Mr Tell - Happy Birthday to you(Great Seuss book BTW).

I hope the Birthday Bird of Katroo shows you a wonderful time.

Enjoy this day of all days!

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Poster: Arbuthnot Date: Oct 11, 2007 7:21pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: William Tell's Birthday Show!

very cool Mr. Tell, and dare i say it, a damn sweet show to have on your birthday, a stellar show that in some aspects and some degrees, has absolutely no equal; it's a fiery, blistering, incendiary gem from start to finish, from the opening notes of an acid-laced Dark Star, to the last crackling notes of Feedback, just one of the coolest live performances ever performed by the band; i just love it, and play it regularly; though i must say i am rather surprised that our very own Dr.Flashback has never reviewed this show, and yet i think i can safely say it's in his Top 3 of that year, and very, very likely, in his Top 10 all-time!

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Poster: He Live's Date: Oct 11, 2007 9:29pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: William Tell's Birthday Show!

ooh..ooh..ooh.....goody goody...i got this one....

i was reading before, owsley said garcia playing all these pentatonic scales...DARK STAR is like the soup in which jerry floats best. him and his scales....he (owsley) was riffing VERY TANGENTIALLY on blues tendencies in a guitar player....and saying jerry did not overtly use these tactics but via, instead, the use of more pentatonic forms he reached the same depths... and cites dark star. like this is THE REALM where the man resides....

you cant possibly listen to one of these early 68-69 stars, at about the 12-18 minute length, and not agree....the later excursions at 20+ minutes are a different beast...once the dead get out to 18+ minutes that is territory VERY FEW have mined in an improvisational, conversational that extent they sought to go as far as COLTRANE.....up to that point this is the model....only the INDIAN classical musicians and coltrane had regularly ventured that far.....

the muscles, the fingers forearms and brain MUST BE TRAINED, before one can seriously persue that level of sustained this point, the lucky WT's BIRTHDATE, the group is reaching towards this plateau together, in a very unified SURGE, and this is the medium in which they revel, the absolute unleashed freedom of a late 60s dark star....

as we listen now, even after the years have passed and even ORNETTE COLEMAN has been subsumed by the culture this level of GROUP FREEDOM still translates.....there is no other societal context in which you can encounter such a POINTED SPONTAENOUS GROUP FREEDOM...REALLYYYYY

only a VERY SMALL GROUP of individuals in the history of mankind have attempted such a concerted group effort to explore the unknown through person-to-person interaction....and this includes the audience with the band and the people of the band to each other.....special stuff

at least in such a DYNAMIC FASHION, totally unique to electronically amplified music------THE GRATEFUL DEAD--------your portal to the unknown

so nice for YOU, WILLIAM TELL....born a day that happened to contain a bridge to the unknown, clearly mapped

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Poster: abilene22 Date: Oct 11, 2007 7:26pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: William Tell's Birthday Show!

Well now, sometime Friday I'll lift a toast (most likely a black 'n tan) to you, my little brother and the wonderful Avalon Ballroom show, all born on the 12th. Happy birthday!